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The Community Radio Station covering Central-Southern Dorset, run by volunteers and not-for-profit

The Gardens Group calls for people to harvest rainwater at home

Following the high levels of rainfall seen this winter, The Gardens Group, which runs Poundbury Garden Centre and has two more centres in Dorset and Somerset, is calling for gardeners across the region and beyond to harvest rainwater at home. With many methods of collecting rainwater at home, Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group and his team are hopeful that anyone with a garden or outdoor space can be part of the solution to reduce flooding, protect wildlife habitats and minimise their own mains water consumption.

Mike explains: “Water harvesting is a great example of how gardening can be a force for good when it comes to looking after our planet. You don’t need a huge, sophisticated water collection system that collect thousands of litres or even lots of space. If 100 more homes had a water butt enabling them to collect 210 litres of water each that’s 21,000 less litres less hitting our roads, fields and rivers. It is becoming more apparent how important it is for us all to take responsibility for our own patch of this planet and this is one small step that can be achieved no matter your gardening experience. It’s much better-quality water for our plants, making for healthier growth and as there aren’t any chemicals added, its better for the soil too. So, if we can get into the habit of collecting rainwater when it’s abundant, our gardens and wildlife will thank us when water becomes scarcer in the warmer and drier months.”

When it comes to implementing water collection at home, there are many options, including purpose-made water butts, which come in a variety of sizes from 100-litres to 13,000-litres and can be connected to gutters and hosepipes. For a more homemade approach, durable items from the home, such as milk cartons or plastic bottles, can be repurposed and attached to windows, fences and balconies.


Mike Burks, Managing Director of the Gardens Group, is a regular contributor to Countryside Matters, our programme with a local focus on the environment, wildlife, gardening and farming.

Countryside Matters is broadcast at 6pm on Mondays. Past programmes can be heard by logging on to the Listen Again section of the KeeP 106 website – for example Countryside Matters 29.04.24


Mike Burks from the Gardens Group

Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, in front of a 50,000-litre water tank, which was installed at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, Dorset in 2022 and connected to a Victorian plumbing system underneath the garden centre.